Phone: 612.436.9653

Chris practices intellectual property law, with an emphasis on patent and trademark litigation at Carlson Caspers.  Applying his background in the biological sciences, Chris has extensive experience representing clients in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and agricultural arts.  In all arenas, Chris uses his technical background to help clients develop their case and implement an appropriate strategy to achieve their business goals.

Chris has significant trial experience, including the successful representation of Teva Pharmaceuticals in its challenge of several patents directed to Purdue’s multibillion-dollar OxyContin® product.  Chris was also part of the team that successfully upheld this verdict on appeal at the Federal Circuit.  More recently, Chris was a member of the trial team that prevailed on several patents directed to the Alzheimer’s drug, Namenda XR®.  Chris also has handled trademark matters, defeating a motion for preliminary injunction in the District of Minnesota.

In addition to his litigation practice, Chris has drafted IP-related agreements for agricultural clients, conducted IP-portfolio investigations for medical-device companies, and participated in freedom-to-operate investigations for telecommunication businesses.

Chris is also active in the legal community, including pro bono representation through the Pro Se Project.  He previously served as the chair of the Intellectual Property Practice Group for the Minnesota Federal Bar Association (2015-2016), and currently serves as a member of the Grants Committee for the Minnesota Federal Bar Association.

Prior to joining Carlson Caspers, Chris was a law clerk to the Honorable David S. Doty of the District of Minnesota.  During law school, Chris was a legal writing instructor, a Managing Editor for the Minnesota Law Review, and studied to obtain his master’s degree in Plant Biological Sciences.


University of Minnesota Law School
J.D., magna cum laude
Managing Editor, Minnesota Law Review

University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences
M.S., Plant Biological Sciences

Gustavus Adolphus College
B.A., Biology


Honorable David S. Doty, United States District Court for the District of Minnesota


United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
Minnesota Supreme Court
Colorado Supreme Court (Inactive)


Christopher Pinahs, Note, Diversity Jurisdiction and Injunctive Relief: Using a “Moving-Party Approach” to Value the Amount in Controversy, 95 MINN. L. REV. 1930 (2011).